Monday, January 28, 2013

What A Nut

We are on the cusp of this time where I can say, "I speak as a citizen of the world" without others saying, "God, what a nut."

-- Lawrence Lessig (1961-), American professor and political activist, "One Planet, One Net" symposium, 10 October 1998

Friday, January 25, 2013

Star That Guides Us Still

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

-- Barack Hussein Obama II (4 August 1961-), 44th President of the United States, Second Inaugural Address, Washington D.C. (21 January 2013)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Revolver

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery, hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.

When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme
    court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of
    execution come in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the
    old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the
    most revolvers.

-- Carl Sandburg, A Revolver, unpublished, found in University of Illinois archives, January 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Big Fake

Luke's name is Armstrong and people know that name, and when he goes to school I don't want them to say, "Oh yeah, your dad's the big fake, the doper." That would just kill me.

-- Lance Armstrong, in his second autobiography, "Every Second Counts" (2003)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe V. Wade

State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother's behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman's qualified right to terminate her pregnancy.  Though the State cannot override that right, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman's health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a "compelling" point at various stages of the woman's approach to term.

-- Supreme Court of the United States, ruling in 410 U.S. 113 - Roe v. Wade, 22 January 1973

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unarmed Truth

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.  That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Baptist minister and civil rights activist, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, 10 December 1964

Friday, January 18, 2013

Scale Of Dollars

A host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts among husbands, wives and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on the scale of dollars is eliminated.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Baptist minister, civil rights activist, Nobel laureate, Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 16 August 1967

Thursday, January 17, 2013


The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false.  The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning.  He has a strong austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment.

Who doubts that this toughness is one of man's greatest needs?  Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.  There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.  Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (15 January 1929 - 4 April 1968), Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and Nobel laureate, Strength to Love (1963), Chapter 1

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Up To You

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone.  We are it.  It is up to us.  It is up to you.

-- Marian Wright Edelman (1939-), Children's Defense Fund founder, as quoted in The Art of Winning Commitment (2004) by Dick Richards

Monday, January 14, 2013


I think Alfred Nobel would know what I mean when I say that I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners -- all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty -- and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Baptist minister and civil rights activist, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, 10 December 1964

Friday, January 11, 2013


When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.

-- William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Tumult Soon Subsides

Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.  But the tumult soon subsides.  Time makes more converts than reason.

-- Thomas Paine (1737-1908), English-American political writer and activist, Common Sense, Introduction (10 January 1776)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


I'm kind of glad that nobody got in this year.  I feel honored to be in the Hall of Fame.  And I would've felt a little uneasy sitting up there on the stage, listening to some of these new guys talk about how great they were. ... I don't know how great some of these players up for election would've been without drugs.  But to me, it's cheating.

-- Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline (1934-), as for only the second time in 40 years no one was elected on this year's ballot, rejecting first-time nominees Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, all accused of steroid use, 9 January 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake - you can't learn anything from being perfect.

-- Adam Osborne (1939-2003), American entrepreneur

Monday, January 07, 2013

Not Every Mistake

Non enim omnis error stultitia est dicenda.
We must not say that every mistake is a foolish one.

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC - 7 December 43 BC), De divinatione ii, 43, as cited in Cicero: a sketch of his life and works, by Hannis Taylor, Mary Lillie Taylor Hunt, second edition (1916), p. 481

Friday, January 04, 2013

Dance Dance

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit.
[No one dances sober, unless he is insane.]

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (3 January 106 BC - 7 December 43 BC), also known by the anglicized name Tully, in and after the Middle Ages) orator and statesman of Ancient Rome, Pro Murena Ch. vi, sec.  13

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Until I Got Here

I didn't realize how much I didn't want to be here until I got here.

-- Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), on returning to the Capitol, New York Times, 27 December 2012

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Palace Intrigue

Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this congress, which places one upmanship ahead of the lives of the citizens who sent these people to Washington DC in the first place.

-- Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), on the failure of the House of Representatives to vote on aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, 2 January 2012